Mixed feelings as Tanzanians welcome New Year

31Dec 2017
James Kandoya
Guardian On Sunday
Mixed feelings as Tanzanians welcome New Year

AS the New Year is ushered in at midnight today, Tanzanians have voiced their joint hopes and aspirations about what the New Year 2018 has in store for them, with some expressing optimism about brighter economic and political prospects.

Various political and economic analysts told the Guardian on the projection of government in the coming New Year in politics, curbing corruption and ensuring economic growth.

They said in the coming year they would want to see formation of strong government institutions which can effectively carry out their legal mandate in order for the fight against corruption to be sustainable instead of it being carried out at an individual level.

Commenting on politics, former Senior Lecture of the University of Dar es salaam, Dept of Linguistics, Dr Azaveli Lwaitama said there was need for the government to come up with strong institutions such as the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB).ìThe current fight on corruption is one-man centred and is therefore not sustainable. There are individual people trying to do what they can, but this is not sustainable,î he said.

The don expressed fears about the powers of presidential appointees such as regional and district commissioners and even ministers, saying it paved the way for corruption.

He said a numbers of government officials had been suspended in connection with corruption or orders being given from the top. He said that was not a good indicator to fight corruption because it was just a short-term solution.According to the don, it is globally known that institutions are the ones that fight corruption and not individual people as we are currently seeing in the country.

The war against corruption will not be sustainable simply through orders from government top leaders,î he said, adding that there was a need to have strong institutions.

We need to strengthen administrative institutions including parliament, the PCCB and have a free judiciary,î he said.He said no country in the world has ever registered remarkable success in the war against corruption by fighting it at the individual level without formalizing the institutions, adding that all these needed to be documented in the constitution for all relevant authorities to follow in order to be sustainable.

For his part, former Constitutional Review Commissioner Prof Mwesiga Baregu said there were a number of issues that needed to be worked upon by the government as the country enters the New Year.

He listed such issues as mysterious disappearance of people without a trace, the muzzling of democracy which he said was painting the country in a bad image abroad.

Prof Baregu, a political analyst, said in 2018 the public would wish the government to put an end to such issues and that action be taken against the perpetrators.

Security organs must ensure that they play their role to restore public confidence which has now been lost,î he said.He said there was also a need to ensure that such organs conducted their operations regardless of political ideology and affiliation to gain public trust.

He said currently the country needed a new constitution more than ever because it would rein in government authorities and security organs.He suggested that the country should complete the constitutional review process by adopting the with the second draft of the Judge Joseph Warioba draft constitution.

A Mzumbe University, Dar es Salaam Campus, economist Prof. Honest Ngowi, when commenting on the 2017 countryís economic status and what should be expected in 2018, said the government needed to inject more funds in circulation to reduce economic stiffness.The government needs to attract favorable investments and inject more funds in the circulation to have an economy that is vibrant and dynamic,î he said.

The don said once the economy is vibrant or dynamic all the people at whatever level will contribute to it, unlike now.ìWhile doing that, the government should encourage more exports of goods and services. The government should lay particular emphasis on exports.

In the case of economic hardships currently most people face, the don advised the government to rethink working on its fiscal policy to make the economy more vibrant.

The don said by softening the monetary policy, the hardships will be reduced, hence attract more business persons to engage in production activities and by so doing the nation would receive more revenues.

Contacted for comment, the Tanzania Episcopal Conference (TEC) Secretary General Rev Fr Raymond Saba said that corruption was against peopleís rights, adding that it was therefore important to focus on doing better in this area.

Each institution must play its role in ensuring that corruption is strongly fought. By so doing it will be contained and finally eliminated,î he explained.